WOODBRIDGE, Va. - There are new details about a Woodbridge man who police said was murdered by MS-13 gang members. However, his family and police said the 25-year-old victim did not have any ties to gangs.
Rosaly Alfaro said his nephew Santos Arquimidis Sorto Amaya moved to Virginia from El Salvador three years ago and was working in construction to support his family and his 6-year-old daughter in El Salvador. He also said his mother also lives in El Salvador.
Amaya was initially reported missing by his family after he didn't show up for work and couldn't be reached. He was last seen leaving his home in Woodbridge on March 13.
A couple of days later, Amaya was found dead inside his burning car abandoned at Veterans Park, about 15 minutes from his home. Prince William County police said Amaya was shot several times and was placed in the trunk of his car at some point before it was driven to the park where it was set on fire.
“I couldn't believe that this thing was happening to him because he was such a nice person,” said Alfaro. “He never had an issue with nobody and to me, this was a big, bad surprise.”
Manuel Enrique Robles Lopez, 21, Erick Alexander Contreras Navarro, 23, Denis Ludwin Espinal Alvares, 19, and a 17-year-old boy have been charged with Amaya’s murder.
“The ones they already have in jail, I definitely think they should be in jail for the rest of their lives for what they did,” said Amaya’s uncle. “For the ones still on the street, I think they should search them as much as they can. I think they should make sure that the community is still alive, safe.”
Navarro and Alvares were arrested in North Carolina while Lopez and the juvenile were arrested in Prince William County.
Detectives discovered the suspects are MS-13 gang members. At least two of them are in the country illegally as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued detainers for them.